Thursday, March 21, 2024

Immaculée Ilibagiza, a light at the bottom of the bottomless human depravity pit

Selected Lenten Reflections, Thursdayof the Fifth Week of Lent:  Immaculée Ilibagiza 

Immaculée Ilibagiza, a light at the bottom of the bottomless human depravity pit.  Immaculée credits praying the Holy Rosary to drown out the anger inside her, and the evil outside, during the Rwanda Genocide as a turning point towards God and away from hate that saved her. 

Despite the fact that the culture in Central and South Africa's is based on Hammurabi's Code: An Eye for an Eye, as evidenced by the  frequent mention of the rule of law in the wake of what has been described as a state under the control of the criminal elite.

"But what credit is there if you are patient when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly."

Few words  evoke such gut-wrenching emotions as "genocide  " It's a term laden with pain, loss, and unspeakable suffering. It's a dark chapter in human history, the depravity of man - that we should never take lightly. Human Trafficking and Human Exploitation are not too far behind.

"Never again" is a term associated with the lessons of the Holocaust, used by liberated prisoners at Buchenwald concentration camp to express anti-fascist sentiment. It was popularized by Rabbi Meir Kahane in his 1971 book, Never Again!I  sadly, Never Again, like No One is Above the Law, have become meaningless buzzwords.

The late Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar says we can choose to live an Ego-Drama, where everything we do revolves around ourselves and no one else; we write the script, we produce it and we star in it. Or we can live a Theo-Drama where  everything we do revolves around God. He writes the script.  He produces it.  We are merely a supporting cast.

Human depravity is clearly not only a result of the Ego-Drama but the demonic. As Bishop Robert Barron writes: "What are the signs of the demonic?  "What are the ways the demonic appears? Look at the names the Bible gives the devils, called in the Greek δῐᾰ́βολος (diabolos), diablo in Spanish, and le diable in French; διαβάλλειν (diaballein) means “to cast apart,” “to throw apart,” “to scatter.” The great sign of the demonic is scattering. God is a great gathering force. Whenever things come together, when a community forms, that is a sign of the Holy Spirit. The scattering power is a sign of the darker powers. When families get scattered, when business organizations, communities, and cultures get divided, that comes from the demonic." 

While the twentieth century,  was the bloodiest century in the history of the world. Not just because there was a holocaust with six million Jews slaughtered in Germany, but because there were millions more killed by Stalin across the Soviet Union. And then there was Mao Zedong and the millions killed under his regime in China. And then there was roughly twenty percent of the population of Cambodia wiped out under Pol Pot. There were 800,000 Tutsi slaughtered in Rwanda. And, of course, there have been over forty million unborn babies killed in the United States since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Honorable mention goes to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Gaza Conflict.

The systematic killing of ethnic Darfuri people which has occurred during the ongoing conflict in Western Sudan, the Darfur Genocide has become known as the first genocide of the 21st century.  Over 2.8 million civilians have been displaced and the death toll is estimated to number 300,000.

China is engaged in an human rights abuses which are being perpetrated against the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minorities which live both in and around the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People's Republic of China. Since 2014 China has the interned  more than one million people currently being held in secretive internment camps without any legal process, the majority of them are Uyghurs, in what has become the largest-scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities since the Holocaust.

Myanmar's government has been accused of genocide against the Rohingya minority.  On 25 August 2017, the Myanmar military forces and local Buddhist extremists attacked the  Rohingya people and committing atrocities  including looting and burning down Rohingya villages, mass killing of Rohingya civilians, gang rapes, and other sexual violence.

In 1994, members of the Hutu tribe slaughtered between 800,000 to one million of their Tutsi neighbors, people with whom they had lived for decades, sharing culture, language, religion, and their poverty.

And faced with threats of ethnic cleansing by Muslims in 2023. and struggling amid a nine-month long blockade, 100,400 ethnic Armenians, representing 99% of the remaining population of Nagorno-Karabakh, fled by the end of September 2023, leaving a couple dozen people within the region.

In the March 2024 UN factfinding mission Sara Hossain declared they found Iranian regime doing systematic egregious widespread institutionalized crimes against humanity of large scale, 551 killed in 2021-2022 Woman, Life, Freedom uprising , they also executed 834 people in 2023.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Biden Administration lost more than $1 billion worth of weapons sent to Ukraine - As casualties keep mounting with over 200 000 Russian and Ukranian soldiers killed and  or wounded abd 30% of Ukranians displaced. Ukraine is also waging a War On Christianity, not unlike  the one in the USA: War correspondents-  CNN,  NYT and  the rest of the legacy media are not covering the war wall to wall 24X7 like all previous wars. And reporters like  Gonzalo Lira canceled on Trump-ed up charges then killed.

How the war started:  The Russian invasion was provoked by the NATO, enabled by China, corrupt media, politicians, #militaryindustrialcomplex, corporate greed and  feckless, NATO and USA leadership

The Legacy Media and politicians mocked and or  condemned Elon Musk's proposed peace plan, because as Putin declared  On 24 February 2022: "Russia is going to win the war in weeks" - we are coming up on years!

The Chinese government said it would not provide weapons to Russia to support the invasion now or in the future.  Then proposes a peace plan, while arming Russia.Apr 14, 2023

Who benefits?:  Follow the money. A protracted war only benefits the enablers

Child Exploitation 

An estimated 27% of human trafficking victims are children.  Child trafficking is any exploitation of a child for the purpose of forced labor or sex.  It's a form of modern perverted slavery that can trap a child in a living nightmare for years.

While the Philippines is one of the largest known sources of children exploitation with estimates of 60,000 to 100,000 children exploited, often, these children either go to work in child sex rings in the Philippines or are trafficked abroad as sex workers, child trafficking is not restricted to the developing world. On the contrary, the exploitation of children for forced labor or sex is alive and well in the United States.

California, for example has consistently had the highest number of human trafficking cases. 1,334 cases were reported in 2021, while 1,507 cases were recorded in the previous. Worse: the people who are supposed to protect the children, seem more interested in protecting the predators; 
Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the sex-trafficking ring of young teens she helped financier Jeffrey Epstein run for a decade.Yet, not a single John has been publicly identified

Subtle Human Depravity

NPR’s Michael Copley reported on the Recycle Hoax:  “recycling cannot go on indefinitely, and does not solve the solid waste problem. No big deal, right? Wrong.  Why this is referred to  as subtle human depravity or systemic humanism. There's no such a thing as "systemic racism." If anything, it's systemic humanism:  systemic search for power and wealth, no matter the cost. The focus on the Ego-Drama. John Kerry says
"We have got to cut down on farming due to climate change, or people are going to starve".  While California Governor Gavin Newsom says"Let them eat bugs".  The yearly carbon footprint average in the US is 16 tons of CO2. Compare that to the carbon footprint of climate change activists:  Bill Gates at 7,500 tons of CO2., John Kerry at 2,000 tons of CO2 and  Taylor Swift at  8,205 tons of CO2. Every year, about 1,5000 private jets fly to and from airports for the WEF meeting. Each jet emits 2 tons of CO2

Joseph Goebbels infamously stated: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie” That includes effects of global warming and the lies and misinformation advanced by corrupt politicians and corporate greed.

Pope Francis Laudate Deum is Spot on. 29. The ethical decadence of real power is disguised thanks to marketing and false information, useful tools in the hands of those with greater resources to employ them to shape public opinion.

The facts speak for themselves: we live in a disposable society with the flawed notion that the planet has unlimited resources. Hence it’s easy to accept the idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers, corrupt politicians, Propagandists and experts in technology.  Yes, the climate has always been changing, but the resources are not unlimited.  It's about stewardship.

Copley doesn’t report that the New York Times and Legacy Media fawned over Taylor Swift recently having “to travel across the globe and through time, to make the Superbowl,” as NYT’s Benjamin Hoffman, reported. Exacerbating global. warming. Her critics called her hypocritical for that. 

Yet, as insignificant as the average Joe's CO2 footprint may be, the collective average Joe has insatiable thirst for non-renewable resources and a penache for waste.

While the reported casualties due to force of nature cannot be linked to global warming, empirically one can see the effects of consumerism:  whole mountains and wild animals' habitat being destroyed in the name of progress.

The bottomless pit of human depravity 

Clearly,  uneducated people in the 20th century do not have a monopoly on depravity. It's the century of mega-educated murderers. We are the most educated, well off people who continue to slaughter the most people and destroy the planet. 

Immaculée Ilibagiza

From the pits of human depravity, light always emerges, ever so lightly.  Think of Immaculée Ilibagiza as a living example of faith put into action. Immaculée's life was transformed dramatically in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor's house for 91 days.

In Left to Tell, Immaculée Ilibagiza explains how living through the Rwandan genocide, an event so horrifying that one might expect it to lead to a crisis of faith:  "Where's your God"—ultimately strengthened her Catholic faith and relationship with God

She lived a normal childhood loving in a household where education was very important in her household, so it was no surprise that she did well in school and went on to the National University of Rwanda to study electrical and mechanical engineering. It was while she was home from school on Easter break in 1994 that Immaculée's life was transformed forever.

On April 6 of that year, the Rwandan President’s plane was shot down over the capital city of Kigali. This assassination of the Hutu president sparked months of massacres of Tutsi tribe members throughout the country. Not even small, rural communities like Immaculée’s were spared from the house-by-house slaughtering of men, women and children.

To protect his only daughter from rape and murder, Immaculée’s father told her to run to a local pastor’s house for protection. The pastor quickly sheltered Immaculée and seven other women in a hidden 3 x 4 foot bathroom. For the next 91 days, Immaculée and the other women huddled silently in this small room, while the genocide raged outside the home and throughout the country. 

While in hiding, anger and resentment were destroying Immaculée’s mind, body and spirit. It was then that Immaculée turned to prayer.

 Prior to going to the pastor’s home, Immaculée’s father, a devout Catholic, gave her a set of rosary beads. She began to pray the rosary as a way of drowning out the anger inside her, and the evil outside the house. It was that turning point towards God and away from hate that saved Immaculée." -Immaculée's 

Lord, on the cross, you asked pardon for your executioners. Give us strength to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us.

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